Helping and Modal Verbs

Helping and Modal Verbs
Helping and Modal Verbs

The use of Is, Am and Are

In Engilsh, ‘si’ , ‘am’ and ‘are’ generally known as helping verbs are sometime used as main verbs too when stand alone. We use normally to convey some sort of information about the subject in present time. The root form of these words is the verb ‘be’ which always needs to be followed something to complete the sense of the sentence as:

  • A goose is ………….(a water bird).
  • I am ………………….(a tall boy).
  • Flowers are………..(beautiful).

The words we have given in the brackets against each sentence to complete the sense are called complement.


Model sentences

She is my future wife.

One is half of two.

Bread is unbaked quite a bit.

Honesty is the best policy.

He is my namesake.

A true Muslim is like a mirror for others.

Cucumber is a kind of vegetable.

This work is extremely nasty.

A little in quiet is the best of all diet.

Milk is good for you.

A battle is at its height.

The idea is to earn money.

Anhomestlabourer is a friend of God.

His credit is good.

We are keen and passionate in studies.


In negative sentences ‘not’ is immediately followed by the verbs (is,am and are)

Model Sentences

I am not found of mushed potatoes.

My sympathies are not with you.

The way is not loug and weary.

He is not tatally innocent.

Your financial means are not limited.

These apples are not ripe.

This syrup is not elixir for old cough.

I am oth pleased with your work.

My dress is not different from you.

Thirbhaviour is not generally well.

The weather is not very humid today.

My sister is not an architect.

The poor are not happy.

The shops are not open today.

The bus-driver is not careless.


  1. In interrogative sentences, verbs (is, am and are) are placed at the beginning of sentences.
  2. If there is a negative statment in interrogative sentences, ‘not’ is usud after the subject.
  3. Sign of interrogation is put at the end of sentences.

Model sentences:

Is life for others’ service?

Is Hamid not a tough man?

Is it time to wake up?

Is raprng a loathsome offence?

Is jealousy an evil passion?

Is this book in great demand?

Is Kanipur not a small village?

Are these broken cots?

Is Beena a truthful girl?

Is he not sincere to his teacher?

Is this a dream of the mad?

Is he at the mercy of his enemies?

Am I a shirker?

Is it a privilege to meet you?

Are your clothes so untidy?

The use of Was, Were

‘Was’ and ‘Were’ are also the forms of the verb ‘be’ which tell something or other about the subject in past time.


‘Was’ is the second form of ‘is’ and ‘am’

‘Were’ is the second form of ‘are’.

  1. ‘Was’ is used after(I, He, She, It) or a singular noun.
  2. ‘Were’ is used after (We , You, They) or plural nouns.


Hitlar was the arch enemy of the Jews.

The lady in the red dress was my mother.

She was upset for her lost child.

These girls were very healthy.

They were with me in weal and woe.

He was ungrateful.

He was an accomplished player.

The seeds of an apple were black.

My mother was mute.

Fruits were full of worms.

His services were admirable.

It was a mess of pottage.

He was born in a rich family.

Quaid-e-Azam was a man of spotless character.

His neighbour was very quarrelsome.


In negative sentences, ‘not’ is immediately followed by the verbs (was and were).

Model Sentences

He was not lavish.

He was not there when I called at his house.

He was not fond of beautiful things.

These were not forged documents.

He was not an eye-witness.

The trade was not brisk.

This road was not closed for repairing.

It was not a deplorable meal.

They were not dead surd of their success.

Hamid was not bound to do this work.

I was not in the room when he came.

My friend was not severely sick.

I was not very happy.

It was not our collective opinion.

It was not their initial meeting.


  1. In interrogative sentences, the verbs (was and were) are placed at the beginning of sentences.
  2. If there is a negative statement in interrogative sentences, ‘not’ is used after the subject.
  3. Sign of interrogation is put at the end of sentences.

Model sentences

Was she born in a village?

Was the lion nearly dead?

Was he not fit for the job?

Were you not busy in your work?

Were they not weak in studies?

Was he a good player last year?

Were they familiar with all our problems?

Was your brother so mean?

Was this move not very funny?

Was this dress light blue in colour?

Was the baby’s napkin wet?

Was Shabnam not the owner of this car?

Was the show over?

Was a ripe pineapple sweet and juicy?

Was it a quiet time for prayer?

The use of Has, Have and Had

  1. ‘has’ or ‘have’ is used in the present time while ‘had’ in the past time.
  2. ‘had’ is the past of ‘has’ and ‘have’.
  3. In the present time, ‘has’ is used after third person singular (He, She, It) or a singular noun while ‘have’ after (I,We, You, They) or plural nouns.
  4. In the past time, ‘had’ is used after every subject.
  5. Usually ‘has’, and ‘had’ are used to denote the relation, possession, mood, quantity and number as:

Relation: He has a sister.

Possession: I had a car.

Mood: The book had a page missing.

Quantity: I had a lot of books.

Number: He has two servants


Model Sentences

The postman has a leather bag.

You have a poem to learn by heart.

Farhan has many sparrows and parrots.

He has a lot of sympathy for me.

They have a readymade shirt.

I have kites for sale.

All plants have roots.

This book has instructive stories

A crab has eight legs and two claws.

I have antique vases.

The dog has a collar round his neck.

The oak tree had a thick trunk.

Hamid had two acres of agricultural land.

Most of the butterflies had colourful wings.

The children had a lot of balloons to play.


  1. In negative sentences ‘not’ or ‘no’ is immediately followed by the verbs (has, have and had).
  2. We use ‘not’ instead of ‘no’ where a word or figure shows how many as: ten pens,much milk,many books etc.

Model Sentences

They had no answers to these questions.

He has no excuse for his behaviour.

A bird has not four legs.

These flowers have not a lovely perfume.

I had not my own room.

He had no time to read.

They have not a big car.

I have no strength to lift this box.

I have no objection to this plan.

Safia has no sharp instrument to cut the fish.

He has no need for tinning saucepan.

Mother has no mop to dry the wet floor.

The house had not two floors.

He had no means of income.

You had not a huge quantity of wheat.


  1. In interrogative sentences, ‘has’ , ‘have’ and ‘had’ are placed at the beginning of sentences.
  2. If there is a negative statement in interrogative sentences,’not’ is used after the subject.
  3. Sign of interrogation is placed at the end of sentences.

Have you a book to read?

Has the farmer several oxen?

Had the front wheel less air?

Had they not much work to do?

Had Rani a week constituion?

Had the poor man no money to buy food?

Has he an important issue?

Had Shahida an oval face?

Has everything itts rime?

Has an eagle sharp ctaws and a strong beak?

Had he a talent of high order?

Have you a duplicate key of this lock?

Has the teacher an authority to award punishment?

Has he a factory of making television set?

Has an elephant a long trunk?

The Use of Can and Could

1. The first line Urdu words when appear at the end of sentences, we use ‘can’, Similarly, the second line Urdu word when occur at the end of sentences, we use ‘could’.

2. Past Tense of ‘can’ and ‘could’

3. First form of the verb is used after ‘can’ and ‘could’        

4. ‘can’ and ‘could’ are used to express Power, Ability. Authority or Probability/Possibility.

5.In negative sentences, we use ‘not’ after ‘can’ and ‘could’

6.’cannot’ is always written in one place while ‘could not’ in separate form.

7.’cannot’ is often shortened as can’t and could n’t in place of could not.

8. In interrogative sentences, ‘can’ or ‘could’ is used at the beginning of sentences, and question mark is placed at the end of sentences.

9.If there is a negative statement in interrogative sentences ‘not’ is used after the subject.



He can lift up ten kilograms weight easily.

General Pervalz Musharaf can remain the President in army uniform.

Could any wrestler wrestle with Anoki?

America can make a plot any time against us.

The Afghan Muslims can liberate their country.


I can teach your children.

Can you live on without food?

The professor can deliver a lecture in the hall.

Could he surely pass the examination?

My grandfather could speak eight languages.


The Prime Minister can advise the President on important state matters.

Can the teachers detain the students after school hours?

The Judge can hang the murderer.

The Government could arrest the terrorists.

The master could punish his servant.


Can we expect an immediate reply from him?

There can be no two opinions on this matter.

Could he tell me the way to the railway station?

Anjum could slip over a banana peel.

Can you get samples of jewellery?

Model Sentences

The blind man can use a cane to help himself.

He could not eat much food last night.

Smoking cigarettes can cause cancer.

I can say ‘hello’ in French.

Can the boy run after the thief at full speed?

We can get milk and beef from cows.

The prices of vegetables can more rise.

Can he break the sticks one by one.

My mother could not take good care of me.

Could your neighbor buy a new car in a month?

The industrialists can provide more facilities to the labourers.

I cannot accede to you proposal.

The feudalist could exploit the poor people.

Munir could use a bucket to carry water?

He could not moderate his anger.

The use of May and Might


  1. First form of the verb is used after ‘may’ or ‘might’.
  2. Generally we use ‘may’ to express a Permission or a Blessing/Benediction but when the situation is not clear, we use only ‘might’ (not may) in the past.
  3. In negative sentences ‘not’ is used after ‘may’ or ‘might’.
  4. The short form of ‘may not’ is = mayn’t. The short form of might not is = mightn’t.
  5. In interrogative sentences ‘may’ or ‘might’ is placed at the beginning of sentences.

Note: In benedictory sentence, put the sign of exclamation at the end of sentences.



He may butter the bread.

Naheed may boil some water for gurgling.

May I not get down here?

You may stay here as you wish.

The hunter may catch quails with a net.

Benediction or Blessing

May God bless you more and more elevations!

May you learn your lesson at finger tips or fluently!

May God save us from worldly riches!

May God bless him with a son!

May God pardon this sinner!


The bus might come late.

He might not come to the party tonight.

It might rain later.

We might take an oath(or swear) in the court.

He might take joy with a pleasant weather.

Model Sentences

You may prepare rice milk.

The mason may use bricks to make the wall.

May you keep my parrot in a cage?

The farmer may take a nap.

You may not go anywhere without permission.

May Allah preserve all of us from bad deeds!

May you not return empty handed!

May he not bring a slur on the name of his family!

May judge not reject his appeal!

May Pakistani army return victorious!

He might go to the park for enjoyment.

Indian army might run away from the battlefield.

He might not make so many mistakes in future.

The girls might sing songs on the wedding occasion.

They might pay you just about one 1000 thousand rupees every month.

The Use of Should, Would and Must

Past tense of ‘shall’ is ‘should’

Past tense of ‘will’ is ‘would’


  1. First form of the verb is used with ‘Should’ and ‘would’.
  1. In negative statemernts, ‘not’ is used after ‘should and
    ‘would’. The contraction of ‘should not’ is shouldn’t and ‘wuld not’ is wouldn’t.
  2. In interrogative sentences, ‘should’ or ‘would’ is used at the beginning of sentences and sign of interrog on is placed at the end of sentences.
  3. If there is a negative statment in interrogative sentences ‘not’ is placed after the subject.

Note: We use third form of the verb together with ‘should have’ or ‘would have’ in the past.

Should is used

(1) to express duty of obligation.

1.You should serve your parents

2.They should help the needy people

3.We should love our country

(2) to give or ask advice.

1.You should work so hard

2.We should read the religious books

3.Should I not believe everything?

(3)to express possibility or condition.

1.I should attend the college in time

2.We should face the dangers boldly.

3.I think the Government should resign.

(4) to disapprove something done in the past.

1.You should not have gone away for a few days.

2.He should not have put pictures on the walls.

3.I think the Government should resign

Would is used:

1) to express habit

After lunch he would generally go for a nap.

He would come to watch the work in progress.

That rolling stone would not stay here

(2) to speak politely

Would you go leaving me alone?

Would you not press me for an answer?

Would he not accept what his mother says?

Model Sentences

It looks Mushtaq would come to see me.

She should use her own car.

You should not have gone to bed so late.

We should do more help to homeless people.

Akram should go to see his brother.

In my opinion, they would be British.

I guess she would have now become old.

We would have paid the rent by Friday.

I would phone you on Sunday morning.

We would all get up early and go for a swim.

Would she do everything according to her will?

You would surely forgive me now.

Would you please be quiet?

You should not behave them badly.

You would feel better yourself today.

The Use Must


The range of using ‘must’ is wide enough in English but generally it is used to denote a command, a necessity or a determination.

‘Must’ is used to talk about the present or future, but not the past as:

We must go now.

We must go tomorrow.

For the past, we use ‘must have’ before the third form of the verb as:

We must have (done) this work.

You must have (sung) this song.

In interrogative sentences a on mark is placed at the end of sentence.

Must is used

(1) to express command:

I must ask you to leave.

You must quit for some time.

You must pitch up a canopy in the courtyard

(2) to express necessity:

We must acquire education devotedly.

The Muslims must keep fast during the auspicious month of Ramazan.

We must obey the laws of our country.

(3) to express determination

I must make up my deficiency.

We must reach the meeting in the nick of time; come what may.

We must go to the shopping today.

Model Sentences

He must secure first position in the class.

We must try to save money.

You must give up the bad company.

We must not make a noise.

You must have seen him.

The notice must reach to all the members.

You must not tell me all the news related to the family.

You must carry oxygen bags.

You must not tell anyone about it.

You must brush your teeth at least twice everyday.

You must be Sanam’s brother.

Must we call a doctor?

I must say that he made a good attempt.

Must you slam the door?

We must agree to the proposal of the majority members.

The use of ‘Let’


  1. In positve statements, ‘Let’ is placed at the beginning of sentences followed by the abject case of personal pronoun of a noun.
  2. First form of the verb is used.
  3. In passive voice, third form of the verb preceding by ‘be’ is used.
  4. In negative statements, ‘Do not’ and ‘Did not’ are placed at the beginning of sentences.
  5. In interrogative sentences, ‘Why’ or ‘Who’ etc. is placed at the beginning of sentences.

The verb ‘Let’ is used:

to give or seek permission:

Let us buy five dozen pencils.

Let Raju harvest a wheat crop.

Let me try once more.

to give or seek suggestion.

Let us draw water from the well.

Let us go to the cinema today evening

Let us make merry.

negative and interrogative

Do not let do so in future.

Do not let them live together.

Why did you let him come in?

Model Sentences

Let us work out these sums.

Do not let ask anything from anybody.

Let me tether the cow.

Let bygones be bygones.

Do not let him play.

Let him keep all the important things in his drawer.

Let it be done.

Let us run home.

Let him cut vegetable with a knife.

Let fresh air come.

Let the dog in.

Let me give rupees ten please.

Let us have a chat.

Let us have some good news.

Let them relax.

The use of ‘Going to’
I am singing ……. I am going to sing.


We normally use ‘I am singing’ in Present Continuous Tense but when we say what we have arranged to do (work), for instance, arrange to meet somebody or intend to go somewhere or decide to buy something really indicates an intention. i.e. is used to express the speaker’s future plan. Hence, we ‘going to’ with the first form of the verb to express the future.


We are going to invite lots lots of people.

I am going to buy a new car.

Shamsa is going to sleep.

‘going to’ can also be used for the happening of an event:

He is going to fall in the well.

I was just going to cross the road.

Our team is going to win the match.

In negative sentences, ‘not’ is placed immediately after the helping verbs:

In interrogative sentences, put the helping verb at the beginning of sentences.

The second form of the verb ‘be’ can be used too.

Model Sentences:

Dew is going to fall on the grass.

Tears are going to shed from eyes.

A cool breeze is going to blow.

Is smell going to spread out of flowers?

Was the sun going to set?

The prices are going to quadruple.

The snake was going to enter the hole.

I am not going to stroll.

Flies and mosquitoes are going to hum.

If was going to sink.

My heart is going to beat fast.

If is going to bleed from his leg.

Chowkidar is going to watch the house.

He is going to hear the phone ring.

Water is not going to cross the deserts.


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